Here you will find a description of the Vedic Astrology Apprenticeship Program offered through Asheville Vedic Astrology. You will also find links to papers submitted by previous students, to get a sense of the work required to participate in this course. Video excerpts of Astrology Apprenticeship Track classes are listed to give you examples of the theories and principles taught. Finally, you will find reference to feedback from students currently participating in the Astrology Apprenticeship Program course work.
In this program we will focus on developing the knowledge required to understand the formula of reading an astrological chart with accuracy and precision. The courses may be taken by the general public interested in increasing knowledge on a particular astrological subject, yet the program’s content is designed for the participation of a dedicated apprentice.
An apprentice is one studying to learn a trade from one practicing professionally in that trade. At the successful conclusion of any apprenticeship, the apprentice will either be able to serve at the level of the mentor or ideally, exceed the mentor’s capacity. Upon completion of this course work and approval from one’s mentor, the apprentice will ideally have the capacity to serve as an astrologer and also teach others, with clarity. Such approval is given individually on a case by case basis.
This program is designed to intelligently introduce the student to the building blocks of astrology. Each puzzle piece will be studied and analyzed independently. There will be no rush to encourage participants to begin reading charts. It is our goal to teach you well, rather than to send you off to try and read a chart with only a fraction of the knowledge necessary to enable you to do so.
For one intent on the knowledge astrology can provide, both for personal understanding and service to others, it will be clear that before an astrological equation can be calculated and the result understood, each variable must similarly be fully realized. The capacity to read the astrological chart is equivalent to the final result of the properly understood equation. Every planet, sign, house, calculation and technique must be understood by itself first, so that the astrologer can then create the proper equation for deep understanding. Anything else is relying on guesswork or intuition, both of which are not always dependable.
It is the mission and vision of this Astrology Apprenticeship Program to patiently teach, from the ground up and in detail, what is required to be the best astrologer possible in this current era. It will require commitment to study, developing attention, learning to communicate the principles and, for those interested, a capacity to teach clearly what has been learned through the vast ocean of astrological wisdom.
In each course we will explore the appropriate astrological material from many angles and vantage points. We will review the ancient texts and learn how to actually learn from those texts, rather than attempt to do cook-book astrology. We will focus on contemplative practices to facilitate one’s personal and direct experience of the inner meaning and worth of astrology.
Even for one not intent on becoming an astrologer, the proper study of astrology can reveal a philosophy of life of uncompromising beauty and logic. Astrology is a path that enables one to expand one’s vision and also provide guidance for those searching.
Apprenticeship Program Curriculum
This astrological program is divided into a four year curriculum, each year providing the opportunity to study three facets of astrology.
The basic curriculum follows. The curriculum will be delivered as video/audio courses. Material will be taught primarily from Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, Yavana Jataka, Sarvartha Chintamani, Jaimini Sutras and supplemented by other texts related to the appropriate topic. Relevant astrological techniques will be included in each course.
- Rasi and Signs Course – 21 Hours
- Bhava and Houses Course – 17.5 Hours
- Grahas and Planets Course – 17.5 Hours
- Planetary Strength and Mathematical Influence – 21 Hours
- Introduction to Planetary Relationships and States – 18 Hours
- Planetary Combinations and Mathematical Yogas – 18 Hours
- The Power of Rahu and Ketu – 16 Hours
- Application of the Vargas – 18 Hours
- Avashtas In Depth – 21 Hours
- Transits & Dashas – 18 Hours
- Timing with Vargas – 21 Hours
- Step by Step Approach to Prashna and Horoscopic Astrology – 21 Hours
Year 5 Post Apprenticeship Studies
- Individual Tutorials, Teaching and Research Oriented Projects
During Year 1 and 2, those enrolled in the apprenticeship track will be required to write two essays per semester (total 6 papers per year) and to accurately respond to the quizzes given throughout. During Years 3 and 4, longer papers will be assigned as well as other research or educational projects. Students work may be shared through blogs, publications or even video presentations, to assist the educational outreach of Vedic Astrology.
Comprehension is of utmost importance, yet students will be required to submit essays and papers at a college level. Presentations given (during Years 3 and 4) by the students are also required to be as professional as possible with the tools that are available.
Progressing through the Program
To proceed through the Astrology Apprenticeship Program, each year must be completed before moving on to the next year. This means that Year 1, which includes the “Rasi and Signs”, “Bhavas and Houses”, and “Grahas and Planets” classes must be completed, with all papers completed and quizzes accepted before one can apply for Year 2 classes.
This is ONLY for those on the Apprenticeship Track, not the general public students. Otherwise, classes can be taken as one sees fit. However, this will assume the non-apprenticeship participant already has a thorough understanding of the information covered in previous classes. Class registration preference will be given to apprenticeship track students.
By the end of the coming years, we intend that ALL the years’ classes will be offered simultaneously. What does this mean? Currently we are at the formative stages, so only Year 1 and Year 2 are being offered in 2017. Next year (2018) we will begin with the Year 3 curriculum. Simultaneously, Year 1 and Year 2 will also begin again. By 2019, we will begin the Year 4 curriculum. Then simultaneously we will also offer another Year 1, Year 2 and also Year 3 series. By 2019, all four years’ worth of classes will be offered on an ongoing basis. Ideally, by that time, we will have apprenticeship participants who have completed all four years, who can now assist in the teaching of these classes.
Each course averages a duration of 6-8 weeks in length, with a lecture of 2-3 hours perweek. After polling past students, some have said they spent a minimum 2 additional hours per week in note taking, writing and reading. Some have said they spent an additional 6 hours a week. All students learn and study on a different schedule and at a different pace. However, we want you to be aware of the potential time commitment before beginning this course. We realize that life happens, but we also expect students to undertake this study when they are sure they have a life conducive to study and contemplation. Plan on studying an additional 2-6 hours a week above and beyond the course lecture material.
Individual Class Fees
As you know, here at Asheville Vedic Astrology, we do set a standard fee for each course. The average class fee will be $210.00. Yet we want to make the study of astrology available to all. So if there is room in a class and a student is on a limited budget we can adjust the fee to suit. However, this will not be applicable to Apprenticeship Track participants. Due to the extra amount of work involved reviewing and grading papers and working with a student on their individual projects, the set class fees are firm. One day, we may be able to set up a scholarship fund to mitigate this. But for now, this will be the policy.
Who Should Apply to the Apprenticeship Track?
The Apprenticeship Training will be rigorous. We will not pre-screen students as we feel that those with a will and dedication to learn can go a long way. However, we will not be easy on grading and expect apprenticeship work to be of a college and then professional level. If a student begins on the apprenticeship track but is not able to comprehend the material, cannot write or communicate clearly on the topic of astrology, they will not be accepted into further classes as an Apprenticeship Track student. Although they are welcome to participate in future classes as a general student. They are welcome to continue working on the Apprenticeship assignments for the class that caused them difficulty. Once those assignments are completed satisfactorily, the student may then return to the Apprenticeship Track.
How to Register
For a listing of up to date course please see the Events Page on this website for more details. To register for a class please email email@example.com. Please specify if you interesting in participating as an Astrology Apprenticeship Track student or a general student. If we have room in the upcoming class, we will happy work with you towards registration. We will send you a paypal invoice in the amount of the course tuition. Once the fee is paid, your spot in the course will be locked in.
Resources from Previous Classes
The following resources will give you a glimpse into the work done and teaching style of these Astrology Apprenticeship Track courses. Click on the links below to read papers published on this site from previous students. The papers are the final product of many of the homework assignments given during the duration of the course. You will also find links to video excerpts of the classes themselves.
Homework Examples from Previous Students
Class Video Excerpts
How Are Astrological Signs of the Zodiac Related to the Chakras – Rasis and Signs Class Excerpt
Secrets of Planetary Dignity – Bhavas and Houses Class Excerpt
How do Planets Represent Your Karma – Grahas and Planets Class Excerpt
It is always important to get feedback from students in relationship to the method of teaching and overall course structure. Here are a series of statements from previous students referencing their experience within the Astrology Apprenticeship Program.
“I like the class because it is clear to me you have given extraordinary consideration to how best to teach astrology. People who want to study astrology seriously should come to you. You are clear and concise and still give ample examples. You help pull us out of detail-corners and remind us of “forest” big picture often. Signs first as foundation for everything is very sharp approach; left to my own devices, I started with planets and nearly ignored signs; now the understanding of the planets feels amplified by understanding their homes first.”
– Kim Koistinen
“I have studied astrology for 3 years before starting with AVA and during that time I took a course on basic chart interpretation. While the three years prior was helpful in building an interest in astrology I cannot say that I seriously starting studying until now. Without a doubt this program is an amazing place to start! It’s so helpful to have good direction from Ryan and from the amazing astrological techniques that are being taught. I look forward to my future studying with Asheville Vedic Astrology!”
“The classes in this course are well worth the investment of time, resources and energy for the aspiring and seasoned Astrologer. Ryan’s ability to methodically explain and interpret the ancient scriptural writings and thoroughly explain interpretive meanings is delivered with care and patience. I highly recommend this course when you are ready to roll up your sleeves and really dig into this material and lift your knowledge and understanding of Astrology to a much higher level. Thank you for the wonderful instruction and this opportunity.”
“The apprenticeship program is tough but it is better that it is this way in order for us to learn better in a disciplined and structured manner under a strict and demanding teacher. It helps lazy people like me to buck up and I find that I normally learn better under teachers that gives lots of test.
“One should join the apprenticeship course in order to learn good astrology and be a good astrologer, equipped with the technical skills to read a chart as well to expand one’s mind through further contemplation. The course helps one to synthesize all that we have learned through the classes to read a chart well. We get to learn the basics well, in more detail, in order to have a good foundation in astrology.
“The structured approach in which it is being taught helps us to learn astrology well as we ascend through the levels of astrology comprehension.
“Ryan’s use and interpretation of the various texts such as BPHS, etc., helps us to understand the slokhas better. Otherwise if I had read it on my own, it wouldn’t make sense to me and I wouldn’t have interpret it in the manner that he had.
Students would enjoy the rare moments when Ryan has a cup of coffee prior to making a video. But jokes aside, Ryan shares his experience in reading a chart so we learn well under his guidance.”
“So far this program has been very fun. I’ve learn new things and I would surely recommend it to others interested. I am very glad I have a teacher. I feel I am bringing together everything I have learned autodidactically and giving it form. I await future classes with anticipation.”
“For the apprentice program I would say this program is great for those that want to really get into astrology and build a foundation from the ground up. Most methods seem to be more scattered or give you the promise that you’ll be able to predict after just a short course. This course will be for the ones that will want to see the depth of astrology and you must have a deep understanding before making a wild guess from some general information of what a chart says. Ryan is a through and meticulous teacher who expects students to be very serious about their studies. If you are a new student or someone who has practiced and just feels like you have a lot of information but still don’t know how to incorporate the information into reading a chart this apprentice program is for you.
“You also must have extra time in your life to be able to put plenty of time in your studies to be able to write papers and take quizzes. Ryan does allow people that aren’t able to study that much or write papers to take the same classes without the deeper commitment. This is a nice option so anybody who is serious about learning astrology can fit into a well laid out course and work at your pace. Ryan goes over a lot of information but very methodically and clearly again and again so things sink in. I personally have studied astrology 3 years before I took this class and in 6 months. So far into the apprenticeship, I have gained more knowledge and understanding than my 1st three years of study. So I recommend anybody that is serious and would like a great opportunity with a great teacher and student of astrology to take this apprentice program.”
“In order to give you some feedback, I thought that what I appreciate most is your clear way to convey the information, without letting it be overwhelming. You are holding in your awareness our level of knowledge and thus it is easy to connect to what you are saying and it is easy to follow you in that way. Also, it is important for me to hear the reasoning behind the teachings that comes from your own experience and contemplation of those principles. I’m really glad that you are eager to answer why principles are the way they are, and encourage us over and over to “think through” for ourselves as well.
We are living in a time of rebirth for the art and science of astrology. This ancient Meta-science is being rediscovered and cultivated by many intelligent writers, teachers and researchers. We are just at the beginning and as we dive deeper into our contemplations and astrological research, the coming decades and centuries will reveal a wealth of information yet undiscovered. Our aim with this Apprenticeship program is to educate students as clearly and lucidly as possible on the subtle complexity and vast breadth of this timeless philosophy. We are far from knowing all that is astrologically possible, but with patience, commitment and devotion we can serve as the link from past masters and prepare the ground for those that are to come.
Astrology does not belong to the East or to the West and it is not the inheritance of only one cultural state. If it is a science and not merely a belief system or faith, then its tenants will be true beyond singular traditions. As astrological apprentices you will be encouraged to delve into the history of astrology on a global scale. In this program, our foundation is in the tradition of Vedic Astrology, but as your intelligence and understanding develops, if you find techniques from other cultures or traditions that work, you will not be dissuaded from doing research to share your realization. We will not approach our work from dogma, but with a curious, open, yet discerning mind. The goal, if possible, will be to see the overarching methods of astrology, holistically, beyond borders, for the good of all. Our goal will be to focus on and explore what works, because it works and for no other reason.
Shall we begin?
For currently offered courses, please see the Events Page on this site.